Healthcare professionals could soon receive texts warning them that a diabetes patient is suffering dangerously low blood sugar levels.
Scientists from Swansea University have been working with technology companies to develop a new hi-tech diabetes monitor.
They hope to create a device that can alert staff or next of kin via SMS message if a person is at risk of experiencing a hypoglycaemic attack.
The project is being developed in Wales and is being backed by the Welsh Government’s EU funded Academic Expertise for Business programme.
Current glucose-monitoring methods used by diabetes patients include the “finger stick” meter, which may need to be carried out up to 10 times a day.
According to Dr Vincent Teng, a nanoelectronics expert from Swansea University’s College of Engineering, the unit they are developing will be pain-free and non-invasive.
The main goal of the £470,000 project is to use sensors and mobile networks to create a “low-cost continuous monitoring system”.
Micro-needles less than 1mm will collect blood samples from the dermal layer of a patient’s skin.
Then, with the support of wireless mobile technology and nanotechnology, the readings will be transmitted from the monitor to mobile phones and to the medical team in charge of the patient’s care.